Jim Caviezel, the actor who famously played Jesus in Mel Gibson’s epic “The Passion of the Christ,” recently sat down with Polish film critic Lukasz Adamski to discuss his Catholic faith, his career and how portraying Jesus profoundly impacted his life.
Among the more fascinating moments in the interview came when Caviezel discussed being struck by lightning while filming “The Passion of the Christ” — a bizarre event that initially left him “terrified,” according to an edited version of the interview that was published by Catholic News Agency.
“We filmed in Rome. It was the scene of the Sermon on the Mount. I climbed the mountain, clouds had formed, and five seconds before the stroke I had felt what was going to happen,” the actor recalled. “It was windy, but I couldn’t hear the wind blowing. Suddenly, I was struck by the lightning.”
Despite feeling immediate terror Caviezel also “felt peace on the inside,” adding that he was struck just as Gibson shouted “action.” In the end, he said the moment was actually somewhat comical, as a shocked Gibson proclaimed, “What … happened to his hair?”
Caviezel also spoke about Gibson’s much-publicized plans for a sequel to “The Passion of the Christ” — a film Gibson plans to call “Resurrection.” The movie will recount the events that followed Jesus’ death and the early growth of the Christian faith.
“I want to work with Gibson again. This time it will be a film about the resurrection,” Caviezel candidly proclaimed. “If ‘The Passion of the Christ’ inspired so many people to do good, why don’t we try again?”
It’s unclear of the actor, now 48, would reprise his role in the new film. He was 33 when he first played Jesus back in 2004, coincidentally the same age Christ was when he was crucified (and it’s probably important to mention that Caviezel and Jesus share the same initials: J.C.).
In many ways, it appears the role of Christ is one that Caviezel was born to play, with the actor continuing to embrace the film that has defined his career. He also discussed the impact that starring in “The Passion of the Christ” had on his standing in Hollywood, noting that, though he later went on to star in other projects, there was an immediate impact to his decision to take on the role.
“All of the sudden I stopped being one of five most popular actors in the studio, and I hadn’t done anything wrong. I just played Jesus,” he said. “Was I personally affected by this rejection? Well, everyone has their cross to bear. The world changes … but I will not be in this world forever. Neither will the producers from Hollywood. At some point, everyone will have to answer for what they have done.”
Read the rest of the interview here.
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